Question: What are some of the dark lessons that life showed you?

Answer provided by Erick Diaz, Writer for The Odyssey and Flocku.com/NBA highlights addict.

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1 ) You’re viewed more as a service than as a human being.
—When you aren’t behaving in a way that fits people’s expectations, they lose interest. I had some friends that I’d crack jokes with all the time, but when I went through a rough patch and wanted to address real issues in my life, they stopped engaging with me in that way. I realized my service to them was to be a jokester and make em laugh. No more, no less.

2 ) The base of true love is false perceptions.
—In the early stages of any courtship, there are ALWAYS things that we embellish or underplay so we can seem more impressive to the other party. Essentially building a foundation of lies. The hope after that is when the truth eventually comes out, it won’t completely destroy the relationship.

3 ) It’s easy to treat your friends better than your parents because your parents love you unconditionally.
—We take people who love us the most for granted because we can. We don’t respect their time or attention as much because it’ll always be there. We don’t have to maintain or curate it like we would with a romantic partner or best friend.

4 ) People are only as faithful as their options.
—Like our sense of logic, our loyalty is completely fluid. Whether it’s a job, a romantic partner or even a brand of smartphone. There’s no such thing as blind loyalty. If better, easier and more beneficial options knock on our door then people will always go with the more suitable fit.

5 ) Fighting self consciousness is a lifelong battle everyone loses.
—No matter how old I get or more confident I become, there will ALWAYS be certain departments of myself I am self conscious of.
-Am I coming off as likeable or needy?
-Is there dandruff in my hair right now? How about on my shirt?
-Do they think it’s weird that I don’t always smile with teeth?
-I can’t tell if I’m trying too hard, but I also don’t want to come off as aloof.

6 ) Holidays are the only saving grace some people have. So be nice.
—I have middle aged family members who hate their jobs, don’t have kids and live alone in an empty apartment. BUT when I see them around people at Thanksgiving and Christmas, they become a completely different person. Some people trudge through the 9–5 Monday-Friday until they can get to the weekend and party with their friends or colleagues.

Some of my family members ONLY have the holidays to look forward to. So I try my best to engage with them and make sure they’re enjoying themselves. When you’re drowning in the game of life, a little joy goes a long way.

8 ) You only take pictures with the fish you had a hard time catching.
—What I love about this statement is the applicable psychology to different areas of our lives. The greater the challenge, the prouder we are of achieving it. Similarly, if you want to appear like a person of value, you can’t make yourself too readily available. People love the attention they’re not getting and making yourself slightly unattainable will do wonders for your dating life.

9 ) Utopia only exists when you’re not trying so hard to create it.
—When I was 13 years old, we had the assignment of envisioning what our ideal lives would look like in 10 years. I was going to be in the NBA, dating a supermodel and driving a Ferrari on Sunset blvd. As I’ve gotten older and my interests changed, I realized that trying to mold my life into a personal utopia is fools gold. The only way to be truly happy with my life is by appreciating the blessings I already had. Not yearning for more fame, status, money etc. Enjoy your life for what it is, not where it could be.

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